Kayak Lovers Cherish this Unconventional Texas River

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This crystal clear Texas river defies convention by flowing north, into the City of Junction, named for the confluence of the North and South Llano Rivers. It arises from 700 springs on private land south of the city. Kayakers and canoers treasure the South Llano River for its apparent drought resistance and the high quality of the water.

Buy, borrow, or rent a boat!

Sit on top kayaks are perfect for this river

Photo: Robert C. Deming

These simple, lightweight sit-on-top kayaks are perfect for the South Llano River.  There are several outfitters in Junction who will rent you boats, take you to the put in point, and pick you up at the take out. Novices will find them easy to handle. A tip from an experienced kayaker: always wear a life jacket!

Where to go?

Looking North from 2nd Crossing

Photo: Robert Deming

From downtown Junction, go south on US Hwy 377. The put in-take out points as you go south are: Flat Rock Crossing (at the south city limits), South Llano River State Park (entrance fee required, drive into the park to headquarters to register), County Road 150 (I drop off the boats at the bridge on the county road, then park along Hwy 377), First Crossing (the first time the road crosses the river, a low water crossing), and Second Crossing (1 mile farther, the second time the road crosses the river).

If you are a beginner with kids, just mess around in the State Park stretch of river until you are comfortable. If you want a short trip, put in at Second Crossing (photo above) and float the 1 mile to First Crossing. The waterfall in the first photo is on that stretch. If you are up to a 2-1/2 hour trip, go all the way to County Road 150.  The stretches from there up to Junction are float-able and beautiful but slow, without any rapids.

These falls are on the South Llano River, but where?

South Llano River Falls

Photo: Robert C. Deming

Take your time; these trips are all about 2-1/2 hours each. Savor the clear, clean water, the color of the river under a bright blue sky. Pack a lunch (don’t take glass or Styrofoam) and put on sunscreen. I wear a life jacket even though the water is shallow, there is deep and fast water and sometimes trees in the stream bed. Respect private property (for a description of public versus private property on Texas rivers, refer to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website) and leave no trace of your visit.

And, just where are these magnificent waterfalls?  When you are ready, the answer will appear.